Special to SenCAPlus
VANCOUVER — Vancouver Model United Nations (VMUN) welcomed two current serving Senators to its 16th annual session in January 2017.
Delegates represented member-states of the United Nations to debate world issues and negotiate resolutions as part of Canada’s largest Model UN conference facilitated by high schoolers. This year, VMUN welcomed over 1,100 students from British Columbia, Alberta, Germany, Japan and the United States.
On the opening day of the conference, Senator Martin visited VMUN’s version of the UN Security Council to share her perspective on the reunification of the Korean peninsula. The South Korean born senator discussed her personal ties to the conflict and a recent Senate human rights committee report entitled The Forgotten Many: Human Rights and North Korean Defectors.
After the presentation, delegates had the opportunity to ask Senator Martin questions about her experiences in Korea and about Canada’s role in the reunification process.
The following day, Senator Woo spoke to the House of Commons committee where his insights as a newly-appointed senator proved valuable when discussing the topic of democratic reform. Delegates enjoyed hearing his thoughts on the new senator application process and they even incorporated his perspectives into the final draft of their legislation.
Senator Woo also spoke to delegates of the model World Bank, sharing his own experiences gained from working at the real World Bank. These delegates spent the weekend discussing debt relief; Senator Woo’s economic expertise greatly enhanced the debate.
During a question and answer period, the senator discussed the economic relationships between developed and developing nations, the future of the World Bank’s governance, and the impact of the strong United States dollar. Delegates appreciated his ability to break down complex economic concepts into manageable terms.
It was an absolute pleasure to have Senators Martin and Woo visit VMUN 2017. Delegates appreciated hearing real-world experiences that complemented their own understanding of the topics, and everyone involved enjoyed interacting with the senators.
Arjun Mehta and Graeme Brawn are organizers of Vancouver Model United Nations and Grade 12 students at St. George’s School and Richmond Christian School (in British Columbia) respectively.